Generative Ambient Event Bots, Free in Ableton + Max for Live

Composing with rules instead of playing notes directly, composer Richard Garrett has built a series of generative, algorithmic, ambient note makers and processors in Ableton Live and the Max for Live add-on. (And yes, user-generated content continues to be a rationale for why many people would purchase Max for Live in addition to Live itself.) With loads of useful controls for duration, start, and voicing – and the ability to feed events into anything you like – the results in your own work could sound very different than what you see hear. But whatever your musical aspirations, you can check …

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nodalUI

With Networks of Notes, Nodal Generates Music: Updated Mac+Windows App Now Adds MIDI

What makes music software popular? Simple recording, DJ, and remix apps unsurprisingly do well. But perhaps as a testament to the importance of individual music expression, some stranger entries do, too. And those less-typical software creations can give you new ways of exploring music creation and performance. Just take Nodal. GarageBand sits comfortably at the top of the sellers list on Apple’s App Store. But, at least briefly, a generative composition tool has rocketed to second place. Nodal 1.7, available for both Mac and Windows, is unlike most music production tools. In place of linear track arrangement, clusters of graphical …

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retroradio

Turn Your Generative Radio On: Live Stream Made from Pure Data Patches

Radio from the past, meet radio from the future. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Nic McPhee. Tired of top 40 hits? Pooped on podcasts? Sapped on streams? What if your radio could generative music that was never-before — and never-again — heard, all from dynamic, algorithmic software? PatchWork Radio does that with Pd patches. It’s not a new idea, but the radio station here, at least, is modular – not just one patch but any number of patches can be transformed into radio, thanks to some Python scripting. Creator David Guy John notes: I’ve recently just started up an internet radio station using …

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Squeaky Shoe Core: Feel Good, Generative Acid Music, Free Patches

Sneaks are a good thing. Photo (CC-BY) Pink Sherbet Photography / D. Sharon Pruitt. Let’s start with what’s really important: Chris McCormick’s squeakyshoecore tunes may well make you tap your All Stars and smile. The words “algorithmically-generated acid” and mention of the multimedia patching environment Pd might not suggest feel-goody, cheery, geeky-sounding electronic grooves, but that’s exactly what’s come out. These robots know what they’re doing. And yes, even a tune named after Chris’ favorite fractal can be good summer fun. Behind the scenes, Chris’ music is produced generatively using algorithms created in the free and open source visual patching …

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Connect the Bots: Black Allegheny, An Entire Album Made by Algorithmic Swarms

Swarm Music Album Black Allegheny from Evan Merz on Vimeo. We’ve heard albums made by singular compositional minds and by bands. What would an album sound like if composed by swarm intelligence, by computer evolutionary models of individual agents or bots? That’s the question asked by composer Evan Merz in his new, full-length album “Black Allegheny.” (At top: the composer explains in a video.) Western musical and creative tradition is steeped in linearity, from the forward motion of the music staff to the mythos of Aristotle’s Poetics. So, maybe it’s little wonder that generative music – music that may not …

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Ever Woke Up in a Procedurally-Generated City?

Food for thought. I’ve definitely spent some time in what felt like procedurally-generated architecture — some of which seemed to have some bugs in it, where the algorithm created spaces that made no sense. And yet they were built by human hands… discuss? Top: from comments, Procedural System Structure, as discovered by Joahnsonn. http://proceduralcity.com/ as powered by NVIDIA PhysX and OpenGL Another (stunning) example: Procedural CitySystem. http://www.procedural.com/ Bottom: Introversion’s engine builds what looks like generic European cities. Lots of discussion on the Introversion forums: It’s all in your head, Part 7 Wow, it’s Milklovano, from the former Soviet satellite nation …

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Making Music with Fractals

Photo: Lara Sobel plays with naturally-synthesized fractals by burning into wood via high voltage. Fractals, those wacky self-similar, rough geometries that resemble so many patterns in nature, were once all the rage. Ravers and digital artists embraced them, only to get bored with them, apparently. To billions of years of evolution and natural phenomena, they’re still cool. And to me, there’s still plenty to talk about when it comes to thinking how fractals might be all the rage. Composer Terran Olson, a musician with a long resume that includes work with the Ives Quartet and Quartet San Francisco, takes on …

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Data Moshing the Online Videos: My God, It’s Full of Glitch

Compression Reel from David OReilly on Vimeo. 8-bit chip music went mainstream in the last few years. Well, now it’s video compression’s turn. What, you thought crunchy blippy glitch sounds were cool, but that video could only look crap when over-compressed digitally? Too late: even Kanye West is doing it now. First up: the best of this genre seems to come from director David O’Reilly, pictured above. The man has his own compression-themed t-shirts. The music video getting the most blogosphere airplay comes from Chairlift. Chairlift’s “Evident Utensil” is a music video made of datamosh errors – a twisted visual …

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Data Moshing the Online Videos: My God, It's Full of Glitch

Compression Reel from David OReilly on Vimeo. 8-bit chip music went mainstream in the last few years. Well, now it’s video compression’s turn. What, you thought crunchy blippy glitch sounds were cool, but that video could only look crap when over-compressed digitally? Too late: even Kanye West is doing it now. First up: the best of this genre seems to come from director David O’Reilly, pictured above. The man has his own compression-themed t-shirts. The music video getting the most blogosphere airplay comes from Chairlift. Chairlift’s “Evident Utensil” is a music video made of datamosh errors – a twisted visual …

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Velato: What if Musical Notes Had Their Own Programming Language?

Photo (CC) Quinn Dombrowski. Composing music is not unlike programming – and either, at their best, can be expressive. In the early days of IT (before “IT” was even a term), many computer programmers came from a musical background. (And even early in the computer age, there was more call for software than symphonies – and more pay.) But what if you could program music easily, using musical syntax in a programming language? That’s the question asked by languages like Velato. The commands actually aren’t as esoteric as you might expect; they include references to standard pitch and commands like …

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